Wednesday, March 25, 2009

John the Medic

Well. I'm all done with my re certification hours for being a nationally registered paramedic. (NREMT-P) We need 72 hours of training every two years, to include 48 hours of mandatory core courses, and 24 extra of whatever.

On top of classes on airways, breathing, cardiology, deformities, etc. I had the opportunity last weekend to attend a class on snake identification and treatment for bites. During the class, the presenter brought out four snakes. A Milk Snake, Fox snake, Bull snake, and for the finale - a Timber Rattlesnake. Now I can say that I've handled a live rattler and even shook it's little tail. (little? the thing was about four feet long.) Anyway, quite entertaining!

I had LOTS of pediatric classes this time around. Many on peds trauma, which can get a little depressing after a time. But good to have the classes, as fortunately we don't have much actual experience with peds in the real world.

You know, we medics experience a lot of things that others would literally vomit to see. We really are a breed apart in some ways. There are certain laws we have come to accept as EMS professionals. Among them...

If you want the tones to go off, warm up your first meal of the shift.

If someone is going to code, they will find their way to the narrowest, most remote part of their house before actually collapsing.

Every drunk driver who has crashed and mangled everything in their path will only admit to having "a few beers".

Even a garden hose vein will be missed on occasion when starting an IV.

Never loan trauma shears or flashlights, they rarely return.

The sicker a person is, the more they will apologize for bothering you.

And of course, we develop certain skills and intuitions on the job...

No GI bleed will go unnoticed, and they usually present just before your meal break.

Bandaging will NEVER be like you were taught in school.

If you list off a bunch of non-narcotic pain killers as allergies and tell me your back hurts, I know you are a drug seeker.

The real psych patients know what to say to avoid a committal.

9 out of 10 "sick kids" that come in are in need of nothing more than a little Tylenol and some sleep.

There will always be one medic who thinks he is "Super Medic" and ten more who really are. But they stay quiet and do their jobs.

In short, this career - like many others - has it's pros and cons. But I love what I do, because for as much as I gripe about the human race, I still love helping them out when they are hurt or sick.

Anyway, more later.

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